Athlete Testing

One of Telos’s focus is athlete development.  Testing the athletes provides a tool for coaches to gather data and information. As we spoke about in previous blogs, data is imperative for analyzing improvements and developing a structured program for further improvements. 

Two reasons for testing include:

  • Assessment of athletic talent and capabilities. 

  • Identifying weaknesses that need to be improved. This will allow the coach to develop a game plan and an appropriate strength and conditioning program. 

Testing Considerations

There are several factors that are considered when selecting tests for an athlete. 

  1. Metabolic Energy System Specificity

    1. Different sports and movements require different energy systems (phosphagen energy system, anaerobic glycolytic, oxidative). For example, an olympic weightlifter uses the phosphagen energy system, which provides energy for fast powerful movements. They do not prioritize their endurance training therefore they are not working in the oxidative system (that is more for marathoners and endurance athletes). Therefore, select tests that are structures around the same energy system. 

    2. Another example of this is powerlifters. They lift heavy weights for 1 repetition, which lasts only a few seconds. Very rarely will you see a powerlifter training for a marathon or endurance sport, therefore there is no need to test their endurance (such as a 1.5 mile run). 

  2. Biomechanical Movement Pattern Specificity

    1. Select tests that are similar to important sport movements. For example, if you are training a basketball player, a vertical jump test would be a suitable test since this is a movement that is essential for the success in their sport. 

  3. Experience and Training Age

    1. How many years of general and specific training does the athlete have? Are they new to the sport or advanced?

  4. Biological Age and Sex

    1. Biological age– is the athlete a pre-adolescent, adolescent or adult?

    2. Certain tests are more tailored to men (or vice versa) based on strength and body differences. 

Test Categories and Examples

Below are a few common test categories and tests that are useful for athlete testing. These tests should be conducted initially and after a certain period of time. This will allow coaches to analyze the data and assess their program’s success (or lack thereof). 

  • Low speed, maximum muscular strength

    • Tests:

      • 1 Repetition Max (1RM) Bench Press

      • 1 RM Bench Pull

      • 1RM Back Squat

      • 1RM Deadlift

    • Sport Examples:

      • Powerlifting, Football

  • High speed, maximum muscular power

    • Tests: 

      • 1RM Power Clean

      • Standing Long Jump

      • Maximum Vertical Jump

      • Static Vertical Jump

      • Reactive Strength Index Testing

      • Margaria-Kalamen Testing

    • Sport Examples:

      • Olympic weightlifting, Basketball, Volleyball

  • Anaerobic Capacity

    • Tests:

      • 300-yard Shuttle

    • Sport Examples:

      • Soccer, Football, Boxing

  • Local Muscular Endurance

    • Tests:

      • Partial Curl Up

      • Push Up 

      • YMCA Bench Press

    • Sport Examples:

      • Rowing, Cycling, Swimming

  • Aerobic Capacity

    • Tests:

      • 1.5 mile Run

      • 12 min Run Test

      • Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test

    • Sport Examples:

      • Swimming, Cross Country

  • Maximum speed, VO2 Max (VO2=volume of oxygen)

    • Tests:

      • Max Aerobic Speed Test

    • Sport Examples:

      • Running, Triathlon, Rowing

  • Agility

    • Tests:

      • T-Test

      • Hexagon Test

      • Pro Agility

      • 505 Agility Test

    • Sport Examples:

      • Football, Soccer

  • Max Speed

    • Tests:

      • Straight Line Sprint 

    • Sport Examples: 

      • Tennis, Track

  • Balance

    • Tests:

      • Balance Error Scoring System

      • Star Excursion Balance Test

    • Sport Examples:

      • Gymnastics, Equestrian

These tests provide coaches with data on the athlete’s performance and what needs to be focused on in terms of weaknesses. Further, it can provide insight whether or not the athlete is responding to the coach’s program or if adjustments need to be made. 

Telos Classes

In our classes at Telos, we focus our workouts around strength and conditioning. The test we use to measure progress is maximum strength. Every Monday and Friday we perform max effort lifts for the lower and upper body, respectively. These max effort lifts range from 3 to 5 rep maxes. However, we perform a 1 rep max every few months to test out the progress made in the strength realm. Our goal is to make our members stronger and functional for everyday life.

Previous Blog about Student Athlete Development

In an earlier blog (written by Owner/Coach Shaun), it was recommended that young athletes need to build a base before specializing. In order for an athlete to be successful, they must build their toolbox with general fitness skills before getting into a specific sport. The test that he presented in the article for middle school athletes was the following:

  • Skip 50 meters

  • Throw and catch a ball accurately

  • Be able to navigate over and under obstacles

  • Jump rope for five minutes without breaking

  • Forward roll and backward roll

  • 3×10 Push up against a barbell in the J hooks at the bottom of the rack

  • 3×5 strict pull ups

  • Goblet squat ⅓ of their body weight for 20 reps

You can find the blog HERE (“Student Athlete Development”)